September 25 marks Franco-Ontarian Day

A young family of four sitting down to enjoy the bands at an outdoors music festival

Franco-Ontarian Day is a day to celebrate the long-standing history and contributions of French-speaking Ontarians. Since 2015, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has invested more than $36.2 million in projects benefiting the Francophone community across the province.

As we celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day, OTF acknowledges the more than 400 years Franco-Ontarians have contributed to the cultural, social and economic fabric of the province. Francophone programs and services help build healthy and vibrant communities and have a positive impact on our diverse French speaking communities.

For the province’s 744,000 Franco-Ontarians, the celebrations around September 25 create awareness and visibility for their communities. The day also provides an opportunity to gather with the 1.5 million French-speaking and culturally diverse Ontarians from all corners of the world.

Across Ontario, we see organizations who work to preserve French heritage and culture through French language theatre, music and arts programs, and enhanced community spaces and education programs. These programs and services serve Franco-Ontarians and the broader French-speaking community, including the nearly 180,000 children who attend French-language schools in the province.

Investing in Franco-Ontarian culture

Through OTF funding, we support the critical work of our many Francophone communities and invest in their community-based projects to meet evolving needs.

As OTF celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, we also celebrate 40 years of supporting programming for Franco-Ontarians. OTF funding supports programs and services that enhance the preservation of Francophone traditions, culture and contributions in our communities and support French-speaking newcomers. Projects funded include:

  • Carrefour des Femmes et Familles received a $500,000 Youth Opportunities Fund, Family Innovations grant to deliver programming and resources to Black Francophone parents, guardians, and caregivers in Ottawa, to help them better navigate the education and justice systems.
  • In 2007, Club Action Hearst received a $120,000 grant over 3 years to merge two seniors' centres in northern Ontario and offer cultural, recreational, sport, social and intergenerational programing at the combined site for francophone seniors. The centre also created partnerships with local youth to help them develop skills and better equip them for the workplace.
  • Le Salon du Livre du Grand Sudbury received a one-year $74,000 OTF grant (awarded June 2006) helped the Salon organize and build momentum for its biannual francophone book fair which attracted 30,000 participants in 2008, making it the fourth largest literary event of its kind in Canada at the time.

Quick Facts

  • Since 2015, OTF has invested over $36.2 million in projects benefiting Francophones across the province.
  • OTF delivers on the French Language Services Act by: 
    • Offering French supports and resources
    • Working with Francophone staff and volunteers during the application review process for projects benefiting Francophone communities
    • Recognizing the needs and expectations of the Francophone communities of Ontario